The World Hunger Problem: Facts, Figures and Statistics


• In the Asian, African and Latin American countries, well over 500 million people are living in what the World Bank has called “absolute poverty”

• Every year 15 million children die of hunger

• For the price of one missile, a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for five years

• Throughout the 1990s more than 100 million children will die from illness and starvation. Those 100 million deaths could be prevented for the price of ten Stealth bombers, or what the world spends on its military in two days!

• The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world is well-fed, one-third is under-fed, one-third is starving. Since you’ve entered this site,, at least 200 people have died of starvation. Over four million will die this year.

• One-in-twelve people worldwide is malnourished, including 160 million children under the age of 5. United Nations Food and Agriculture

• The Indian subcontinent has nearly half the world’s hungry people. Africa and the rest of Asia together have approximately 40 percent, and the remaining hungry people are found in Latin America and other parts of the world. Hunger in Global Economy

• Nearly one in four people, 1.3 billion - a majority of humanity - live on less than $1 per day, while the world’s 358 billionaires have assets exceeding the combined annual incomes of countries with 45 percent of the world’s people. UNICEF

• 3 billion people in the world today struggle to survive on U.S. $2/day.

• In 1994 the Urban Institute in Washington, DC estimated that one out of six elderly people in the U.S. has an inadequate diet.

• In the U.S. hunger and race are related. In 1991 46 percent of African-American children were chronically hungry, and 40 percent of Latino children were chronically hungry compared to 16 percent of white children.

• The infant mortality rate is closely linked to inadequate nutrition among pregnant women. The U.S. ranks 23rd among industrial nations in infant mortality. African-American infants die at nearly twice the rate of white infants.

• One out of every eight children under the age of twelve in the U.S. goes to bed hungry every night.

• Half of all children under five years of age in South Asia and one third of those in sub-Saharan Africa are malnourished.

• In 1997 alone, the lives of at least 300,000 young children were saved by vitamin A supplementation programs in developing countries.

• Malnutrition is implicated in more than half of all child deaths worldwide—a proportion unmatched by any infectious disease since the Black Death

• About 183 million children weigh less than they should for their age

• To satisfy the world’s sanitation and food requirements would cost only U.S. $13 billion—what the people of the United States and the European Union spend on perfume each year.

• The assets of the world’s three richest men are more than the combined GNP of all the least developed countries on the planet.

• Every 3.6 seconds someone dies of hunger

• It is estimated that some 800 million people in the world suffer from hunger and malnutrition, about 100 times as many as those who actually die from it each year., December 7, 2009